Filed under home-brew as it’s loosely home-brew related
It was in 2012 that I drove down to Southern NH and picked up a used kegerator from a guy on Craigslist. It was an old fridge that used way more electricity than it should have and the setup wasn’t ideal for a strict keg-only setup since it was a fridge & freezer combo. Getting to kegs was difficult and it was hard to manage all of the hoses and CO2 tank and finally, cleaning it was a challenge. Oh and one of the painful things about the fridge was that I couldn’t store bottles in there for consumption which wasn’t a big deal as my kitchen fridge was large but after moving, it suddenly was quite important to me because my new house fridge is half the size of my old one with no room to expand it.
Here are the priorities when it came to building a new Kegerator / Keezer:
- Fridge must be new and very low-cost to operate w/ EnergyStar rating
- There must be room to store bottles / growlers
- I wanted room to store 5 kegs (4 serving and 1 carbonating)
- It must look nice and be easy to get to kegs & clean the lines / perform maintenance
For the fridge, I bought a Danby Model # DCFM246WDD 8.7 cu. ft. Chest Freezer from Home Depot. It shipped for free and was large enough to hold 6 Corny kegs + the hump where the compressor is located could hold a few bottles + growlers. It’s at the very low end for energy consumption of freezers this size @ $28 a year operating cost.
To control the temperature of the freezer, I wanted to get something reliable. There’s nothing worse than a temp-controller going on the fritz and freezing all of your beer which happens to brewers a lot! For this I got the Johnson Digital Temperature Controller Wired (FE611).The price was in line with my budget and I’ve used a lot of JC equipment in the past so the brand is trusted. I set this at 45 degrees and it keeps temperature extremely well!
Another benefit to not letting the freezer freeze is that I’m saving money over the estimated electricity costs. It comes on 4 times a day for 20 minutes each at the current temp. I’ve experimented with 50F and 40F temps and haven’t noticed a change in consumption that drastic. I did notice the colder the temp, the more condensation build up there is.
Taps, I replaced the aging Chrome taps that came with my old kegerator and upgraded to Perlick Stainless Creamer Faucet – Model 575 which has a nice feature of pushing the tap handle back instead of forward for a creamier head. I use this when pouring my huge Imperial Stout home-brew or Bourbon County kegs which don’t usually have a lot of carbonation. I also replaced the chrome shanks in the old unit with Stainless Steel Beer Faucet Shank – 4” x 1/4″ bore.
For the faucet mounting, I purchased 2×6 untreated pine and made a rectangle around the unit. I removed the lid and attached it to the wood and then used a 1” insulation board to cover the interior of the wood to hopefully hold in some of the cold. Pretty simple build overall. Here are a few photos:
Final placement in the house & Tap-Handles. Also notice this really comes in handy for beer storage due to my small fridge.
- Deluxe Drip Tray – 13″ Wall Mount
- Bottle Opener – Starr Wall Mount
- SuperFlex Beverage Tubing (3/16″ ID) – By the Foot
- Replacement flange connectors, nuts, bolts and full keg rebuilds of all of my corny kegs from dip-tubes to sealers and such.
- I also rebuilt my Dual CO2 regulator to stop a leak and re-did all tubing for Gas & liquid serving w/ a lot of Star-San sanitizer
Note: I completed this build in May but have been waiting for my tap handles to arrive which were crafted by Darren Hill at Leaning Maples Woodcraft in Greensboro, Vermont. He’s made some other house-hold items for me and I asked him to help out with custom handles. They have chalk board paint for writing the beer on tap on each handle.